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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Mar 25th, '19, 05:25 
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Well the AP is stocked again, picked up 30 rainbow fingerlings from Tooperang yesterday, lost one in transit and 1 just after acclimatisation. The remaining 28 are going strong and show some interest in feeding, so they are settling in well by the looks.

Was pleasantly surprised at the size of these, MUCH bigger than last season at around the 20-24cm mark, the two that died were both 24cm and 180g!!! And the rest are around that size also. These should get to a nice size in the next 7 months or so, no bad for $1.80@.

Now I got to get more plants in as the fish waste will be significant right from the get go!

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Mar 25th, '19, 11:26 
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My systems are down to 22c at midday today so very tempting

Seems like the most of the heat has gone we are having cool nights so that helps

If I lost a couple I could just feed them to my big Murray Cod

Getting them through April would be my challenge

Be good to have a few Trout my fish go dormant for a hundred days or more

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Mar 25th, '19, 13:34 
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That’s a great price for your trout. In WA anything from $2.50-$3.50 each and not as long as yours. Nothing available until April.


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Mar 26th, '19, 07:47 
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Hey Terra, I'm hoping that the weather has turned, as long as the overnight temps stay cool i'm not to concerned about the daytime temps....as long as we don't get a heat wave, then i'll be panicking!! this morning temp was 13C, max water temp for the past week has been 21C, hopefully hot weather has gone for this season.

I'm already planning for retractile shade cloth, 30-50% or so that can cover the AP, and also shade the fruit trees for next summer, also thinking how I can use the chest freezer in the shed as a temp cooling loop if required, maybe able to carry trout over the summer, although I think i'll need to significantly change size/design to achieve that.

If you're ever in Adelaide feel free to drop me a msg and we can have a beer and compare notes.

Liney, yes I was very happy with size/cost, they were easily twice as big as i got them last season, and at least 120g heavier. Last season they were around the 12-15cm mark and were only 40-50g each i reckon.

They fed well this morning, I also checked Ammonia and Nitrite. Both are zero so the bugs are keeping up. I'll slowly increase feed over the next few days and get some more plants into the GB's to start soaking up all the nitrates coming through.

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Mar 26th, '19, 07:54 
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The next thing to do is source some cheap poly rainwater tanks for rainwater storage for top ups, still using de choraminated scheme water which is good in some ways, my pH sits around 7.6 and I don't need to worry too much about Ca/Mg/K or carbonate/bicarb buffering. Here's the breakdown of local supply.
https://www.sawater.com.au/community-and-environment/water-quality/in-your-area-whats-in-your-water/central-metro

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: May 23rd, '19, 12:15 
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Has been a bit quiet over the past few months. The trout are doing well although I've lost about 15 over the past few months, just random single fish turning up their toes for some reason. Water chemistry is normal although Nitrates are off the scale due to the amount of plants in the GBs. There haven't been any swings in pH nor spikes in ammonia/nitrites and the temp fluctuations are no greater than same time last year.

Having some issues with Slugs seriously chewing through seedlings put into the GB, I've now taken to putting cut off soft drink bottles over to try and protect them, and starting to put out beer traps and out at night manually picking them up for the chooks the next morning.

Here are some recent photos of the system, still have tomatoes/basil/parsley and chard in the beds from summer/autumn. Brassica seedlings have gone in, all grown from seed.
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We started off 7x day old chicks back in early Feb after losing most of our flock over the record 47C day in late Jan, they have all grown up, unfortunately we ended up with 4 roosters and they have just started to find their voices! They do look spectacular though. This one I'm sure is a Turkey cross, he's bloody massive!
Attachment:
190523 chooks.jpg
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Here is the smoking effort of the last of the previous seasons trout, they were very nice with a light Alder wood smoke.
Attachment:
190523 Smoked Trout.jpg
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And last but not least the wicking beds are coming along nicely, have recently put in this seasons carrots, parsnips, brassicas (cabbage/cauli/broccoli/kale/brussel sprouts). newly self seeded Chard, Parsley & Coriander. Hoping to over winter the eggplant and capsicums.
Attachment:
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Attachment:
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Also had to lift and replant a number of beds due to an infestation of curl grubs. I was wondering why my strawberry plants stopped thriving. They looked to be not getting enough water even though the beds were nice and moist. I went to check one plant and it lifted straight out of the bed, the root system had been completely eaten and underneath were 2-3 of the bloody grubs, so I had a scrape around and the whole bed was full of them. I got ~150 of the blighters out from the strawberry bed (~2m sq), each as big as the first 2 joints of my little finger! I figure the eggs must have been in the organic loam/compost mix I had delivered when I finished and filled the beds. I also dug around the capsicums/eggplants in another bed and picked up another 50, and another 100 or so out from the bed I had tomatoes in. Once I've started to turn over the other beds not yet refreshed I'm sure there will be more! The chooks had a feed from these :)

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: May 23rd, '19, 13:09 
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I deep flooded a growbed this week before putting in new seedlings and got 70 small to half grown slugs they are certainly persistant

Ive noticed they love to hide under Pot Plant Trays in the shade house so a few of these on the surface of growbed between plants might help to find them

Run growbed constant flood overnight to push them up near the surface

Im picking really big broccoli heads now I recon ive finally found the planting window for here , any later and they just run to seed

Great pics the rooster looks like a Silver Laced wyandotte X Sussex

I have an old Bonaire Evaporative cooler that I used to use when I was shearing in stinking hot weather I set this up for my chooks each summer with a 100 Litre coke syrup container as a water header tank . I put this on at its slowest speed when it gets to around 40celcius it only creates a small cool area , the chooks stop panting and I havnt lost any birds and they keep laying.

Running for around 6hrs it uses about 30L of water, if im away for the day I put a timer on it.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: May 23rd, '19, 14:21 
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Love the look of your smoked trout Graf. They really look delish.
(We've had some good runs of salmon off our beach over the last month or so and I've have been smoking those in my weber kettle. Also delish).
I've also had trouble with slugs hammering my seedlings in the greenhouse system and have been flooding each night as Terra suggested and it seems that I've gotten them all (at least until a new batch develop). Good luck with the curly grubs.


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: May 23rd, '19, 14:24 
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Terra wrote:
I deep flooded a growbed this week before putting in new seedlings and got 70 small to half grown slugs they are certainly persistant


Hi Terra, I tried to do a deep flood but the expanded clay just started floating, one of the downsides cf. stone aggregate. i might try and see what else I can do.

re the evap cooler, that's a thought for next year, i've got microsprays/misters setup, unfortunately at the time we were away down the coast and the neighbors were looking after them, we thought they would be OK as we had some significant shade above from passionfruit vines, but it didn't help at all

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 4th, '19, 08:53 
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Things are quiet at the moment from an AP system perspective, its ticking along nicely with the fish eating well. Water temps are down, 5C this morning!

Planted out a spring onions interspersed among the brassicas in the GB's and in spare spaces in the wicking beds.

On the slug front, after spending more than a few nights hunting slugs by torchlight in the GB's, I've gotten on top of them now I think.

Still having issues with somethin else eating the centers out of my brassica seedlings. Might be birds or rodents as they are chewing through fairly thick stems so unlikely to be slugs/snails. I have put out some bait stations if rodents, and will make some wire mesh cylinders to go around them as a barrier till they grow a bit bigger.

Harvested a shopping bag of parsley from the GB's to take into work for colleagues, parsley pesto or tabbouleh is on the menu! Also took in 4 pots of garlic and normal chives from the masses I had in the wicking beds that I divided up.

Elsewhere around the patch cut 1kg of Rhubarb stalks, and made roasted Rhubarb with Orange and Cardamon with Vanilla/Cinnamon yoghurt, pulled 1kg beetroot, sliced really thin with a mandolin and oven dried to make beetroot chips for the kids school snacks, both went down a treat :) I probably have another 10kg of beets in the wicking beds, still lots to eat!

Pulled the last of the seasons carrots and started thinning the next sow, pruned back passionfruit, picked a few oranges, eggplants, capsicums, cut back some more basil and pulled up old dried pumpkin vines that were a trip hazard in amongst the fruit trees.

Re-homed the roosters as they were all finding their voices :( Unfortunately living urban as we do, council regulations prohibit the keeping of roosters. Luckily the breeder we got the chicks from takes the roosters back to rehome for organic farms or for her breeding program.

Working on the next few projects, keeping an eye out for cheap/free poly rainwater tanks to expand rainwater storage and AP system, Another project in the pipeline is a Pompeii style brick pizza oven. Have the fire bricks already so on the hunt for 50 or so besser blocks for stand and a brick saw to bevel cut all the fire bricks for the dome. So many things to do!

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '19, 08:13 
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The temperatures definitely have fallen, had 2 nights of heavy frost which is unusual for where I am. unfortunately its pretty much put an end to the basil, eggplants and tomatoes. I don't think they'll last too much longer
Attachment:
190625 Frost damage basil.jpg
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190625 Frost damage.jpg
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Attachment:
190625 Frost damage tomato.jpg
190625 Frost damage tomato.jpg [ 287.3 KiB | Viewed 1334 times ]


unfortunately i didn't remember to take any photos of the AP system, but even the expanded clay had a frost coating and low lying seedlings of Marigolds and a small capsicum are no longer, they got frozen and are now puddles of brown mush to be pulled out.

Im surprised that the AP system frosted over, I would have throught that the circulating water would have kept an above freezing temperature and provided some protection, but obviously not, something to think about.

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '19, 08:38 
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Devastation. The frost must have been heavy indeed Graf. We've had some cold nights too, but not yet freezing so my remaining tomatoes, basil etc are still hanging in there. Water temps have been low too, down to 8C (mostly 10 to 13C) in the greenhouse and 5.9C outside. For brief times, the GH has gotten up to 28, but neighbours trees keep it mostly in shade at this time of year.
I'm surprised your marigolds keeled over. I would have thought they were a bit more hardy than that.
On the good side, now that we're past the winter solstice, the days will slowly be getting longer though we haven't really hit the coldest months yet


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '19, 11:02 
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Hi Nhibbo, yes the frost was surprising, especially for coastal adelaide, the leaves of kale and cauli on the GB's were frozen, I poured some water over the leaves to remove the frost...and the water froze! was bloody cold!

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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '19, 16:01 
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Wow! That is really cold.

(Just a cheery side note, I got a call from a mate in Evans Head this morning. He was not happy about the lousy winter weather setting in....it dropped down to 20 today with rain. LOL).


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 Post subject: Re: Grafs urban farming.
PostPosted: Jun 26th, '19, 18:29 
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We have had it cold here too , my main system is fully covered with greenhouse plastic the coldest morning water temps so far has been 10 celcius

My small system in a shade house got down to 5 celcius so I put those fish in the main sump that's getting a bit cold for cod

If you get lots of Rhubarb have a go at making wine with it , really easy and its pretty nice

Just don't go driving anywhere :whistle: :drunken:

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